I don’t know about you guys, but mid-August is clearly Halloween party planning season. This year I will host Dinner of the Damned II. This is a very grown up, elegant, hosted event that takes at least two months to plan properly. In the past, I would change party themes often but lately, I’m finding that as I get older I’d like to perfect my party scene instead of indulge my short attention span. I find that people have an easier time if they can just come dark and dignified and not fully costumed if they don’t want to. I kind of dig the Morticia Adams hostess gig and in addition to food, we always play a few morbidly themed games. More on those some other time.
Some people say that “the devil is in the details” but this is the part I love the most. I love the details. I love the right ice cubes, the right silverware, the right lighting, and the right food and drinks. Tonight I tackle a list of dark and eerie liquor labels for me to seek out. You can find a million cocktail recipes online so this is simply a list of brands that have taken a turn for the dark. You are on your own to figure out what to do with them. I really tried to stick with quality liquors and to not give in to the kitsch.
Consider bringing an offering of one of these splendidly delicious and morbid concoctions to the Morticia Adams hostess in your life.
I read reviews of this vodka that range from just ok to exceptional but who even cares! The aesthetics! The Blavod website has a nice list of cocktail recipes and they are simply dazzling in their darkness. This vodka is made in Germany, is 80 proof 40% ABV, and the blackish-violet hue of Blavod is due to the herbal extract catechu (an extract found in Uncaria Gambier trees of Asia). The addition of these herbs reportedly results in no significant effect on taste.
A bottle of Blavod retails for about $24 a bottle.
Watch this video review
RedRum and VooDoo Spiced Rum
From Three–D Spirits comes Redrum rum, a blend of 100% Virgin Island Rums bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume. This mango, pineapple, coconut, and cherry flavored rum comes in a unique red bottle and the actual rum is a pinkish/red color. Redrum rum will set you back about $20 a bottle. You can read a review of Redrum rum at The Rum Howler https://therumhowlerblog.com/rum-reviews/flavoured-spiced-rums/redrum/
For your voodoo themed party, don’t forget their spiced rum. Again, you can read the review at https://therumhowlerblog.com/rum-reviews/flavoured-spiced-rums/voodoo-spiced-rum/
Crystal Head Vodka
I’ve seen this vodka around forever and who doesn’t love the skull. I buy every empty skull I ever see at a Thrift store. I did not know that this is Dan Aykroyd’s vodka. Yes, that Dan Aykroyd. The bottle is made by Bruni Glass in Italy, and the kosher-certified vodka is made with pure Newfoundland water and filtered through 500-million year-old crystals known as Herkimer diamonds. Here is Dan Aykroyd talking about his baby, Crystal Head Vodka.
Read a review of the vodka here. Doesn’t matter if you are a vodka fan or not, you need a bottle of this around at Halloween time. Go ahead and shell out the $50 bucks. http://www.beabetterbartender.com/crystal-head-vodka-review/
Grand Love Extra Anejo Tequila
Anjeo describes a tequila that is aged in a cask for a year or more. Naurally, it takes on more complexity as it picks up various chemicals and characteristics of the cask its aged in. Grand Love Tequila is made of 100% blue agaves from the region of Amatitlan Jalisco. It goes through a double browning process and spends 4 years aging in American white oak barrels. And the lovely hand polished pewter base and hand blown glass heart–I imagine this sitting on your table or bar at your Gothic diner party. I’m salivating!
Plan on paying about $75-100 for this lovely bottled libation.
Devil’s Share Single Malt Whiskey
For those of us accustomed to paying for quality, look no further than Devil’s Share Single Malt Whiskey. I feel like I was making a list of booze that I could purchase and sample. Ok, so maybe I will just read about this one. From the website:
“The only true evil is compromise. When we set out to create Devil’s Share Single Malt Whiskey, we refused to sacrifice quality in favor of expedience. After all, our goal was to craft the smoothest whiskey possible. So we began with pure brewer’s malt. We distilled in small batches to give us precise control over purity. Then we aged Devil’s Share in virgin, heavily charred American oak barrels. The result is an award-winning, distinctly sweet whiskey, rich in woody caramel and vanilla notes backed by hints of cinnamon, cardamom and licorice. When it comes to taste, the devil is indeed in the details.”
Even the writing is quality. If you have $300 dollars to spend on whiskey, please come to my dinner party! PM me for directions.
Hotel California Tequila
Maybe you like your horror liquor a little more psychologically terror based. Hotel California Tequila Reposado is 100% Blue Weber Agave produced at Agaveros y Tequileros Unidos de Los Altos and rests for 6 months in American oak. Sells for about $40-60 dollars. Here is a good review http://www.tequila.net/tequila-reviews/reposados/hotel-california-tequila-reposado.html
Iconic Brands has a really fun website for their product. Go take a visit and maybe you will be inspired to host an Evil Tiki party this season!
Tsanta are the famed shrunken heads of the Jivaro tribes of Ecuador and Peru . Invading, neighboring tribes apparently found Tsanta to be gleeful reminders of their victories. Clearly, they make a pretty cool looking rum vessel as well. I feel that at Halloween time, this is the one time its OK for the art of the bottle takes precedent over the art of distilling. Again, this bottle is all I need!
This 80 proof “sipping rum” is distilled in Vera Cruz, Mexico and cost about $40 dollars. You can read a review here https://goodspiritsnews.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/gsn-review-dead-head-rum/
Love the artwork. Not pictured is the box which is even better. The intro on the Chamucos website reads: “When the light leaves and the night arrives, its our moment. We go out, we dance, we take over everything and everyone. You are ours . We are yours. The glass is empty but the drink never runs out. If it dawns, we leave. We come out from you but we never leave you”. A little creepy and mysterious if you ask me. This is a well respected tequila that any party host would be happy to receive. Take one home for around $50 bucks.
For a review, go to http://tequilaaficionado.com/2015/09/11/chamucos-tequila-review/
Jim Beam Devil’s Cut Whiskey
Devil’s Cut refers to what you might imagine is the “sweat” of the whisky barrel. The left over bourbon is kind of sucked out of the wood of the barrel and then added to the 6 year aged whisky that was originally in the barrel. $30 will get you a devilish bottle of this manifestation of Jim Beam sauce. From the review, it seems as if you like really woody tasting booze, you will love this! Watch this extremely detailed review from The Whiskey Jug https://youtu.be/66baULw_ZXE
Absinthe Hamlet Hardcore Green
“After the first glass you see things as you wish they were.
After the second, you see things as they are not.
Finally you see things as they really are,
and that is the most horrible thing in the world.” Oscar Wilde
“Got tight last night on absinthe and did knife tricks. Great success shooting the knife into the piano. The woodworms are so bad and eat hell out of all furniture that you can always claim the woodworms did it.” Ernest Hemingway
I had to save absinthe for last. I have not tried absinthe but its always been on my list. It’s been on my list for the reason its on anybody’s list; because absinthe’s mythological and romantic status as an opener of visions and creativity and its 100 year ban. Nicknamed “The Green Fairy” absinthe is the emblem of 1890s Bohemian Paris and is credited with the revolution of art and literature of that time. It is also the the drink associated with Van Gogh’s instability and suicide,
Absinthe a distilled, highly alcoholic (45–74% ABV / 90–148 proof) anise-flavoured spirit. If you don’t know what a combo of anise and fennel tastes like, think Good and Plenty candies or black jelly beans. Not for everybody for sure but I’m looking forward for my first taste of absinthe as an ode to the collection of artists, writers, dancers, intellectuals, musicians, and architects that flocked to Paris between 1880 and 1900 and left their mark on the world.
Hop on over to http://www.alandia.de/absinthe-blog/ for all things absinthe.